The rebuke came on Thursday after the US Navy released additional footage, which it said showed an interception of an EP-3 spy plane by a Russian Su-27 fighter jet over the Black Sea. The two sides disagree on whether the Russian pilot acted recklessly during the Monday encounter.
The Russian Air Force “will continue to provide robust defense of the borders of Russian airspace,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement. “If the realization of this fact by American pilots causes depression and phobias, we recommend that the American side either exclude flying near Russian borders in the future or return to the negotiations table and agree on a set of rules for such flights.”
The Pentagon has been accusing Russia of flying too close to American warplanes and warships on patrol missions near Russian borders. US defense officials call such actions risky and unprofessional. Their Russian counterparts disagree and say the Russian pilots do not violate any rules when buzzing American military assets deployed far from their homeland.
The Russian Defense Military commented on the latest incident in the same manner. “The maneuvers of the Russian fighter jet on January 29 were standard, absolutely legal and perfectly safe for the American surveillance plane,” it said. “When NATO fighter jets conduct similar maneuvers towards Russian military planes on patrol over the Baltic, the Barents, the Norwegian, the North or any other sea, they do not affect the Russian crews in the slightest way.”
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